Boeing Delivers 5 Helicopters to India amid Heightened with China
By Staff, Agencies
Boeing, which had been contracted to produce Apaches for the Indian Air Force, has announced that all five of the multi-role helicopters have been delivered.
The attack helicopter, in addition to its enhanced ability to shoot 'fire and forget' anti-tank guided missiles, air-to-air missiles, rockets and other ammunition, is also versatile in conducting network-centric aerial combat due to its modern electronic warfare system.
“We’re happy to have completed delivery of the 22 AH 64-E Apache and 15 Chinook helicopters to India,” the company said on Friday. The five helicopters have been delivered in one consignment to the Indian Air Force [IAF] at Hindon air base, near the national capital Delhi. Earlier in March, Boeing handed over the last five of 15 CH-47F [I] Chinook heavy-lift helicopters it had contracted to sell India.
“With this delivery of military helicopters, we continue to nurture this partnership and are fully committed to working closely with India’s defense forces to deliver the right value and capabilities to meet their operational needs,” Surendra Ahuja, managing director, Boeing Defense India said in a statement.
Boeing has delivered nearly 2,500 Apache helicopters to 16 nations to date, including the US, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Greece, Japan, India, Singapore, South Korea and Saudi Arabia.
The American-made helicopters feature two high-performance turboshaft engines and a maximum cruise speed of 284 kilometers per hour. The Apache can carry a maximum of 16 Hellfire missiles, giving it unprecedented firepower.
Last September, the IAF inducted eight Apache helicopters at Pathankot airbase to guard the nation's border with Pakistan.
India finalised its order with Boeing for the production, training and support of 22 AH-64E Apache and 15 CH-47F(I) Chinook helicopters in September 2015. Earlier this year, India and the US signed a contract for the acquisition of six Apaches for the Indian Army during US President Donald Trump’s visit to New Delhi.
The Indian defense ministry has also urged countries like Russia and France to expedite contractual deliveries of military equipment they'd agreed to undertake in the past. Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, during his visit to Moscow in June, confirmed that Russia will supply some of the weapon systems to India at an early date.